6th Jul, 2022

Last Piper P2 sports car among classics on show at Cars at the Spa Rally

THE CARS at the Spa rally, organised by the Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa – sponsored by Kia Warwick and supported by Leamington BID and the British Motor Museum – will see some 200 classics park up at the Pump Room Gardens on Sunday June 30.

In the run up to the rally, the Observer has been featuring some of the enthusiasts who will be showing off their prized motors.

Visit www.carsatthespa.co.uk for further details.

THE VERY last Piper P2 sports car to come off the production line in the 1970s will be among the major attractions at the rally.

Owned by Warwick car enthusiast John Malley, the British built and designed sports/racing car is one of 45 still in existence, only 12 of which are in Britain.

John, who was a design engineer with AP in Leamington for seven years, before spending the last 20 years of his working life as a designer with Jaguar in Coventry, has owned the Piper for 36 years, after discovering its derelict hulk in 1984 and overseeing a two-year nut and bolt rebuild.

Since then, he has exhibited it at shows all over the country and regularly takes it to the annual three-day Silverstone Classic and to the three-day Classic Car Show at the NEC.

John, who retired 15 years ago, first heard about the Piper when he was at a car show and shot off to Lincolnshire to see it.

“It was derelict at the back of a chemist’s shop in Lincolnshire – it was in a dreadful condition.

“The only way we could get inside it was to crawl in through the roof, after removing piles of carpets. I managed to track down an expert in Piper renovation and he spent two years getting it back on the road. Classic Sports Car ran a feature on its restoration and it’s been regularly written about in car magazines ever since.”

About 90 were built at the Lincolnshire factory between 1967 and 1973 and half of those still exist. Two years ago he organised 11 Pipers to meet at a reunion at Silverstone to mark the factory’s 50th anniversary.

John first got into classic cars when he bought a Peerless GT, which had raced at Le Mans in 1958. “I bought it in 1968 and then sold it a year later as I was getting married and needed the money.”

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